As Dallas City Manager Inches Closer Toward a Proposed Budget, Some Revealing Insights

Categories: City Hall
316px-Dallas_Flag-Old.svg.png
Dallas City Council remains on vacation till August (well, not everyone), but City Manager Mary Suhm and her staff remain at work needing to trim $20 million more out of the FY2011-12 budget to balance that sucker. Hence the memos sent to the council and mayor last night: One deals with just some of the cuts to come; the other, with how to fill in the dollar-bill blanks.

Rest assured: The following Q&A and attachments are hardly a dull read; they even offer a little insight into City Hall's workings, if only between the lines. Take this query at the top of Page 3, for instance: "Provide additional information on potential sale of Elgin B. Robertson Park at Lake Ray Hubbard?" Oh, really? Because it was on the ballot just last November, when Dallas voted to get wet. Precisely 96,011 voters -- or, more than three times the number that elected Mike Rawlings mayor last month -- put the kibosh the Elgin B. Robertson sale; 81,957 were in favor. Now, which council member asked that question?

And, did you know: The city's trying to get the county to agree to "add a fee to motor vehicle registration to pay for part of school crossing guard program?" Apparently, the city and Dallas County Commissioners Court are still chatting it out over adding a $1.50 "child safety fee" to the motor vehicle registration; the county's yet to say yes. Guess it depends on the equity.

Also provided ...

... are precise proposed cuts to cultural centers, a breakdown of the cost of the MLK Day parade, this random library factoid ("DVDs are a popular format for library patrons; while they make up 7% of the collection, they account for nearly 30% of circulation"), talk of how to close three rec centers in the coming fiscal year, an explanation how the Dallas Farmers Market's $6.6-million redo's coming following the '06 bond election (it's not, as potential privatization stepped in the way) and a lengthy list of other '06 bond projects completed or canceled.

Then there's the fine print about which the wonkier Friends of Unfair Park often have questions -- like, say, what are the debt service costs for FY2010 ($282,863,468, which includes actual principal and interest payment) and the projections for FY2011 ($248,083,224 in guesstimated principal and interest payment)?

After that comes the second half of the memo package: a lengthy Q&A about how the city collects its money. The county too, which uses Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, which ... sounds familiar. Where my tin foil hat at?July 15 2011 Memos
My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Baddatesindallas
Baddatesindallas

Lordy M-Suhm gets a lotta ink on here--and she's presumably at work with her head down balancing that budget. Just wait 'til it gets released. Then the media storm will really be ablaze...it'll be all Mary Suhm all day day day day on Unfair Park.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

It's a good thing the Musers know who she is now

Cityguy
Cityguy

Hey Dallas, how's that convention hotel thingy workin' for ya?  Thanks a lot Leppert.

Michael C
Michael C

So the city cuts back on pools, libraries, and traffic light engineers yet is able to hire numerous friends of the head of the IT department without apparently having to file any paperwork or keep any records.

And City Manager Suhm's response in today's DMN is: "Well, in the future, we'll do a better job of gathering paperwork". 

No "I'm walking down to that department right now to get to the bottom of this", or "That is unacceptable, and we will review every employee to make sure they are qualified and needed". Nope. Just "Gosh, we need to keep better records". 

To me, you don't need any other reason to fire her and get someone in who will clean house at City Hall. I don't have a bit of a problem paying taxes and respecting the people who work for the city when they are doing their jobs. But such clear and obvious waste, and possibly illegal activities, is 1005 inexcusable.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

"yet is able to hire numerous friends of the head of the IT department without apparently having to file any paperwork or keep any records"

Read the same article . This is a public safety emergency . Our police and Fire dispatch are suffering major problems and outages (SP)

Michael C
Michael C

You are right - it's not just the bookkeeping department (nothing against bookkeepers). It's a department that is essential to keeping our city safe. 

I really feel sorry for the people who were in the department before this guy was hired and have to work with him and his friends. It's clear that he and the people he hire are incompetent. Plus, he's a wimp, trying to pass the buck on who actually hired the people to some underling. It has to be frustrating to have to work for someone who doesn't have a clue, and then take the fall when things go wrong.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Why was the city paying for the ushers at Dallas Symphony Orchestra concerts?  Did the Town of Highland Park or the City of University Park contribute, as well?

Mike
Mike

Aren't we close to or over the 10 per cent threshold for debt service? That means no more debt until we clear out the old stuff or bring in new revenues. Just pray that hotel works out.

Honeybee
Honeybee

2 years as a crossing guard (get Winter and Spring Break off!) = automatic Section 8 housing voucher.

GPDude
GPDude

If Mary Suhm would call Kathy Nealy and let her know the City is going to give the Crossing Guard vest and whistle contract to Willis Johnson, I am sure that John Wiley Price and County would grant the city it's new tax.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

The $1.50 fee will be broken down thus:  15% for JWP, 20% for the study of a Calatrava designed crosswalk-bridge, 30% for a team to study naming the bridge after some community leader who never crossed a street on foot since adulthood, 10% to make sure that all bike paths bisecting the crosswalks will have necessary marking signs legible by passing cars, 10% as a DART subsidy, 10% for supporting street crossing lobbyists in Austin, 4% for liaisons with DISD to implement a cross-cultural lesson plan to teach kids in the Park Cities about crossing streets, and 1% for some vests bought at Home Depot.

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

Ah! The library! Now everyone griping about the Netflix hike can go get discs for freeeeeeeee.

Also, I see there's a DMN article database you can search from the library site. I'll have to see if that's a way around the paywall.

http://www.dallaslibrary2.org/

Why the 2?

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...